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I am reading Anthology for Music in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, and on page 173 I get stuck in understanding this sentence:

In some cases national and political connotations were an explicit factor in the creative process; in other cases a composer’s works or style were co-opted after the fact, sometimes for very different purposes than the composer may have intended.

The author says that the creative process accelerated in the rapidly changing interwar years because old structures became inviable. I thought that due to such explicit factors composers's works or style were strongly affected by dimensions that themselves had not intended.

Am I right? How to embed the phrase "co-opted after the fact" into my understanding in this context? Could anyone please help explain the phrase in depth to some extent? I can find little about that phrase on the Internet myself. Thank you.

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  • Have you looked up "co-opt" in the dictionary? – Tashus Jan 14 at 18:29
  • @Tashus It seems hard to comprehend as it is combined with "after the fact" and in that context. – Lerner Zhang Jan 14 at 22:07
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It means that the work was hi-jacked to support a cause that it seemed to fit and support, regardless of the composer's original intentions. Their work then became associated with the cause.

Some football chants were certainly not written for the purpose, such as the tune for the hymn Cwm Rhondda.

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